Monday, July 24, 2017

your midsummer annogram

Free Ferry gains momentum

Thanks to everyone who continues to purchase, read, and gift Free Ferry with such enthusiasm. I am excited to be reading at events this fall at CUNY and Fordham celebrating the 75th anniversary of the isolation of plutonium—a largely unknown history and the bottom narrative in Free Ferry

Imagine my shock when I walked into this Vermont scene that matched the cover of the book! 

More good news

Select translations from Hélène Sanguinetti’s Et voici la chanson (Editions de L’Amandier, 2012) and Le Héros (Flammarion, 2008) will appear respectively in Transference and St. Petersburg Review.  I can’t wait to read Hélène’s latest, Domain des englués (Lettre Volee).  In addition, Main Street Rag Press will publish “Trackside Commissary” in its anthology Of Burgers and Barrooms.

Stamford Arts Festival

I will be reading Saturday, July 29, at 2pm at the Stamford Arts Festival. Poets include Edward Ahern, Alison McBain, Lisa Pierce Flores, and Roberta Strom. In the morning, stop by and a poet will write a poem just for you! Or lend your voice in a group reading of well-known poems. Thanks to Jerry T. Johnson for organizing the 10am – 5pm event at Harbor Point, which repeats with more poets Sunday.

Ron Tanner in the Middle of the Pacific

Ron Tanner’s youth in the Marshall Islands led to his wry, politically complex novel, Missile Paradise (Ig Publishing, 2016). In my interview with him, he reveals the surprising advice he gives new writers. The long-time professor and former AWP head also weighs in if his multiple interests limit or advance his creativity.  I’ve learned from this generous writer and so will you!

Touring Vermont backroads

Rustic Vermont farm
My amazing girlfriends surprised me with a backroads adventure! In a comfortable mini-bus, we enjoyed views of Mt. Equinox and one or two of Manchester’s multimillion-dollar homes. Our guide, Sharon, shared demographics on today’s Vermonters—everyone from former CEOs and the Chief of the Abenaki Tribe, to artisans, telecommuters, and farmers.

Communing with alpaca
A downpour prevented a hike into the Merck Forest, so we headed to a gift shop to sample three grades of maple syrup.  At an alpaca farm, the camel-like beasts stared at us with their otherworldly black eyes. Finally, we passed the Cephas Kent house, considered the birthplace of Vermont, 14th state to join the union. 

Such fun—and thanks to Sharon who epitomizes a Yankee welcome.

Linda Simone
Simone and Smith at the Tobin

Watercolorist Linda Simone is excited to be exhibiting artwork at the Tobin Library in San Antonio with her good and talented friend Vera Smith. "If you're in the neighborhood," Linda says, "please stop by and take a look!" The paintings will be up through the first week in September.

NYC Poetry Festival

The free NYC Poetry Festival takes place July 29-30, 11am - 6pm, on Governors Island. Be sure to see annogram friends Christine Beck, Susana H. Case,and Gary Glauber Saturday at 1:30pm, and  Meredith Trede, Mervyn Taylor, and Estha Weiner Sunday at noon—all on the Algonquin Stage.

Mad for ModPo

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
What’s it like to take a comprehensive Ivy League poetry course? Sign up for ModPo. The University of Pennsylvania’s 10-week course in modern and contemporary US poetry, opens September 9—free, online, open to all. New poems and videos will be featured in ModPoPLUS and its Teacher Resource Center will help instructors teach the poetry. Enroll here.

The Perfect Wife and the Other Woman

I always mocked the title of this Manchester, Vermont restaurant until my friends and I dined there after our backroads tour—that is, in the Other Woman Tavern, on a lovely patio overlooking a wildflower garden.  Wow!  Was the meal extraordinary! Chef-owner Amy Chamberlain has a spectacular menu in a picturesque country setting.  To celebrate this find, I offer a recipe from her baker.

Amber’s Strawberry Shortcake

2 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar plus extra for dusting
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 ½ sticks butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 scant cup milk, whisked with
3 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 lb organic strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in chilled butter. Mix in eggs and milk (leave lumpy). Pour into greased and floured 10-inch cake pan or 12 muffin tins. Bake 25-30 minutes. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar as they come out of the oven. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out. Serve room temp or slightly warm with fresh, local, lightly sweetened strawberries.

Creative opportunities

Action Theater Improv August workshops in Brooklyn, $15 each

Hélène Sanguinetti

New releases

How a Poem Can Happen (Red Spruce Press)

Domain des englues (Lettre Volee) by Hélène Sanguinetti

Readings / events
Ruth Irupé Sanabria

HVWC, August 6, 4:30pm, poets Theresa Senato Edwards, Howie Faerstein, Paul Richmond, Cheryl Rice, Neil Silberblatt, $10

HVWC, August 16, Liz Burk, Carla Carlson, Gillian Cummings, Anne Graue, Ruth Handel, Caroline Holme, Melissa Ragsly, $10
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Poets House, Kray Hall, August 3, 7pm, Aziza Barnes, Ching-In, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, DéLana R. A. Dameron

Prismatic Park at Madison Square Park, Joshua Bennett in The Envy of the World, August 15-20, 12-5pm

Bryant Park, August 29, 7pm, Cave Canem poets Teri Cross Davis, Cynthia Manick, Ladan Osman, Iain Haley Pollock

ʾRound the Net

More alpaca
Backroad Discovery Tours for its fantastic sampler tour through southern Vermont

Curator and art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic for this definitive list of must-see summer art shows

Poet Gary Glauber on having two poems in Pamplemousse

Poet Cindy Hochman for her poem in Unbroken Journal

Novelist Petra Lewis for her speech at A Better Chance on artists prospering in the digital age

Lines + Stars Journal for its half-dozen Best of the Net nominees
Tracy K. Smith

The New York Public Library for its summer reading recommendations

Poet Linda Simone for discovering the high art of the Lamp Shade Lady

Poet Tracy K. Smith on being named our new US Poet Laureate

Novelist Ron Tanner for addressing practical questions writers have on his website

Ah, midsummer! May you relax into its deep greens and oncoming August golds. As I close this annogram, I am grateful for your embrace of Free Ferry. So many say it uncannily reflects our world. If you’ve read Free Ferry, please go to Amazon and Goodreads to review it. Thanks, and wishing you your own summer adventures!

Until next time,